I hated Lehigh the moment I received my acceptance letter, so don’t ask me how I actually ended up here. I honestly still don’t even know. I’m chalking it up to divine intervention.
Junior year of high school, my potential college list was about a mile long. All the way at the bottom was “Lehigh University,” written in fine print.
The top of my list, like most of my high school classmates’, was comprised of top-tier colleges. We were all focused on going to a school with a great, not just good, reputation.
I also wanted to go somewhere as far from home as possible, with a student body and campus big enough to walk through without being recognized. That was the exact opposite of what Lehigh had to offer, the way I saw it.
I’m not sure if it was shame or because I was in denial, but I didn’t mention my acceptance into Lehigh to my friends or family until June rolled around, when I realized Lehigh was my most viable option.
The day before decision day, I reluctantly declared that I would be a part of Lehigh University’s class of 2021.
Summer came and went, and I arrived freshman year despising the “poop-brown” school colors and infuriated with the number of stairs I had to climb to get across campus.
I also hate to admit it, but I even shed a few tears during our invocation. I lost about 10 pounds because I was too upset to eat. For those who know me, yeah. That’s how miserable I was.
Basically, my first few weeks were terrible and I was determined to transfer the second I could.
It wasn’t until mid-October when I fainted on my way to an exam that I realized how lucky I was to be so close to home in cases of emergencies.
I was conveniently close to the warmth of a home-cooked meal, the comfort of own queen-sized bed and, last but certainly not least, the fluffy little ball of energy I call my dog.
I received a lot of support from my friends and professors after I was ushered to the ER, and I realized I had people here I cared about as much as they cared about me. I know now that I really took these things for granted.
There hasn’t been a day since where I haven’t walked through campus without a “hey, what’s up,” or soft smile from a familiar face. I definitely wouldn’t have felt at home at a big school.
Over the past three years, I’ve made some of the best memories I have with the best people I know. I will be forever be grateful to Lehigh for that.
Looking back, it’s pretty obvious I should’ve kept an open mind coming into freshman year, so it’s sad to think I wasted a good chunk of it because I was too focused on what I thought I wanted, not what I actually needed.
All the good and the bad that I’ve experienced at Lehigh has helped me grow in ways I never thought I could.
My transition wasn’t easy, but I’d say it was so worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still find these hills infuriating and brown still isn’t my favorite color. But I am proud to say I go to Lehigh.